Financial Aid

Changes to Direct PLUS Loan Programs

- Effective March 29th, 2015

There are a few changes coming to the Federal Direct PLUS loan programs (Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS) effective March 29, 2015. We wanted to make you aware of these changes as they may impact you or your parent if you choose to participate in one of the PLUS loan programs.

Adverse Credit Definition Change

Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, will be changing its definition of "adverse credit" with regards to the credit check completed for PLUS loan applicants. An applicant will be considered to have adverse credit history if he/she has a bankruptcy, foreclosure, tax lien, default or is 90 days or more delinquent or have a debt that is in collections or charged off in the preceding two years. For debts that fall in the last two categories, the combined outstanding balance would need to be greater than $2,085.

Entrance Counseling Required?

If a Direct PLUS loan applicant is determined to have adverse credit, he/she may still choose to pursue an endorser or document extenuating circumstances (complete with Federal Student Aid). For assistance see or call 800-557-7394). In the event that a credit decision is overridden with an appropriate endorser or through the appeals process, the Direct PLUS loan applicant will be required to complete a Direct PLUS loan counseling ( prior to loan funds disbursing. The Direct PLUS loan counseling is separate from Entrance Counseling. One cannot be substituted for the other. Direct PLUS loan counseling is tied to the applicant's credit decision for a Direct PLUS loan. It is possible that a Direct PLUS loan applicant may be required to complete the Direct PLUS loan counseling more than once during a student's academic career.

Expiration Date of Credit Check

The expiration date for Direct PLUS loan credit checks will be extended from 90-days to 180-days. If a borrower applies for a Direct PLUS loan and is denied based on credit, then he/she works to clear up his/her credit report and wants to apply again, a new credit check will not be completed if there was already a check done in the last 180 days.

Additional Option for Dependent Student

If the parent is denied, it is possible for the student to apply for additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan instead. The following Direct Unsubsidized Loan limits may be added to the student borrower's combined Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan limits.

If the student wishes to pursue the additional Dependent Unsubsidized Direct Loan


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